Here you will see students as young as 4 and 5 years old doing algebra and "advanced" math, without ever knowing it's supposed to be hard.
You are invited to learn how to use this method...

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Fractions Are Easy Too

This is a simple introduction to fractions tiles. Fractions concepts are great for teaching counting and multiplication to young students.

fractions tiles, math materials

Most students hate fractions because after four years of learning math one way suddenly the rules change. You can't add

1/2 + 1/3 and get 2/5...some kids will put 1/5

showing an utter lack of understanding and confusion about the rules. But the rules haven't changed. They just didn't understand them in the first place or more likely were never even taught the rules properly to begin with.

If you go back to the 5 basic concepts, you will find under concept 2, we only count things that are the SAME. Also it's key to understand that numbers have two parts the what kind part and the how many part. Fractions are cool because they tell you the how many and what kind all in one place, whereas with whole numbers you need to understand place value.

Note how in this introduction we don't cram in adding fractions in the first lessons all we do is play with simple concepts. We see how many make up a one, and we count and we learn their names. Later we will learn about numerator and denominator and build on the concepts of "same" or equivalent fractions. Also we will use other base ten blocks to represent fractions and fractions concepts. One crucial concept is the idea that x/x = 1. Right now they are seeing 2/2 = 1 and 3/3 = 1 and so fourth on up to 9/9...let them discover that anything over itself is 1...except for our hero. Plus they will discover this concept from multiple angles. Right now it's counting (three of three is one), but later it will also be division, (three is contained in three one time).

But for now we just play a little and tell stories about fractions wearing disguises.

In this fractions intro I cover the same info but without video. Be sure to get the free fractions worksheet. It's free. Note with me "free" doesn't mean "give me your email address." It means free. If you want more, get a password if not I don't want to waste time with you and an email list.

It should be quite obvious you can use fractions to teach counting and addition and multiplication. These students are advanced so the lessons are easy and fast but if you had a student that hadn't even mastered counting to nine these same fractions tiles would help them learn that. Compare and contrast with the thinking that says they have to have mastered multiplication before they learn fractions which is still ridiculously prevalent in math instruction in the USA and elsewhere.

The fractions page at the house of math has been in disrepair for about a year now...but that is getting fixed. It is very near the top of the to do list now. Look for more updates and improvements to that page over the next 30 days as I cut videos and add lessons and hopefully some more pdf's. Right now there are some videos there and a list of terms but it will become much more cohesive shortly.

Next there will be a video where we add simple fractions and find out what 1/2 plus 1/3 is and more importantly WHY, and we won't just learn some silly rule about multiply this, this and this...and then add this and this...but keep this the same...stay tuned.

BTW if you want a set of fractions tiles like the ones you see here it's $105.00 shipped to your door and will be available on my site at Products and Passwords shortly.

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